Friday, August 19, 2022

Unsilent night: A rundown of live holiday music in the Historic Triangle

Old-world caroling in Jamestown
Evening carols and a bonfire will evoke an old English Christmas celebration at Historic Jamestowne on Dec. 10. (Photo courtesy Historic Jamestown)

From Americana and big bands to classic English carols, holiday concerts abound in the Historic Triangle and they draw on a variety of musical traditions.

Williamsburg Library Theater will swing in the season with the Ford’s Colony Dance Band on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The 90-minute “Happy Holidays” show will have favorites and vocal stalwarts from the big band era, performed by an orchestra of 17 local musicians. No tickets are needed to attend.

If your taste runs more to Charles Dickens than Duke Ellington, Historic Jamestowne will offer its spin on early-English and early-Virginia festivities on Saturday Dec. 10.

The evening programs, “At Christmas be Mery,” start at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. They will feature caroling at Memorial Church, an outdoor bonfire, dancing and the firing of Christmas guns.

Tickets cost $18 apiece and must be bought ahead of time.

For a more of a contemporary vineyard-to-table twist, there’s “Uncorked and Unplugged – Holiday Edition” at the Williamsburg Winery, 5800 Wessex Hundred. The live event, on Sunday Dec. 18 from 4-7 p.m., will showcase acoustic music and performances by Johnnyswim, Joshua Radin and We the Kings.

Admission costs $40 per person and includes one wine pour and a souvenir glass but no seating; it’s standing room only.

A VIP option for $150 includes table seating near the stage with wine and food service, a charcuterie board, two tickets, two souvenir glasses, one wine pour per person and two backstage passes to meet the artists in the winery’s barrel cellar.

Finally, for musical offerings steeped in Tidewater history, Williamsburg Library Theater rounds out its holiday schedule with performances from two local bands with deep community ties.

The Peninsula Concert Band, with more than 40 civilian and military members, has been performing locally for more than 60 years. It will take the stage on Dec. 13.

The York River Concert Band, created more than 27 years ago by members of the former Newport News Shipbuilding Band, will perform on Dec. 22.

Both concerts are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are not required.

Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

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